Rainforest

ANIMAL, SPECIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

A GREEN TREASURE

The Congo Basin in Central Africa harbours around one fourth of the rainforest worldwide. Comprising an area of 1.7 million km², it is the second largest coherent rainforest region on earth. Only the Amazon rainforest is larger. In the heart of the vast forest area, there is a 13,500 km² protected area: the Odzala-Kokoua national park.

RAINFOREST MEANS BREATHING

The African rainforest may seem far away to Europeans, Americans, Asians or Australians, but its contributions to our green lungs and climatic stability are vital globally. Thus, destroying it has disastrous consequences.

Rainforests store greenhouse gases and stabilize the climate. The rainforest of the Congo Basin is a giant reservoir for CO2 and thus of critical importance for the global climate. The people living in or near the national park work with us to protect the rainforest. Sabine Plattner African Charities will be struggling that tropical forest, which developed over millions of years, will not be destroyed within a few decades.

IN THE FOREST OF SUPERLATIVES

The rainforest is a unique habitat. No other place in the world harbours as many different animal and plant species. The national park is also home to a range of endangered animal species hardly found elsewhere in the wild. Along with elephants, forest buffalos, hyenas, and many butterfly and bird species, there’s a group of Western Lowland Gorillas living in Odzala-Kokoua national park.

AT HOME IN ODZALA

Around Odzala-Kokoua national park mainly Bantu and Pygmy people live in villages. Some just consist of a few huts, while others have some thousand inhabitants, with mayors, shops, churches and schools. Odzala means “home” to around 80.000 people. The women grow corn, cassava and other crops on the fields, in some villages in the north also coffee and cocoa. What the families don’t need for themselves is sold on the market.

The rainforest is the livelihood for millions of people in central Africa. Humans and nature live together closely, in good times and in bad times. Entire cultures, such as the Pygmy people, lead a “forest life”. Pygmies and Bantu live along the national park. The forest is their environment, jungle pharmacy, shelter and food source. Thus any destruction of nature will sooner or later affect the people, too. SPAC therefore follows a comprehensive approach: to strengthen the people in order to allow them to become protectors of the rainforest and its animals.

The protection and conservation of the national park is creating employment, and herewith a sustainable positive development. The park management alone is offering 250 jobs, as eco-guard, tracker, or in an administrative position. The national park’s administration is run by African Parks, an experienced partner in nature conservation.

In addition to this, schools and humanitarian projects offer employment possibilities. These investments will pay off. Apprenticeships and job offers are the only long-term alternatives to poaching and deforestation.

GORILLA CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Gorillas are for several years listed as critically endangered species. The
scientific work by our local team is an important part of the ongoing
efforts to protect the habitat of the 150 Western Lowland Gorillas.

MEET YOUR ODZALA RAINFOREST REPORTER

Karl is a rainforest guide. And your Odzala Rainforest-Reporter. He knows the forest at any time of the day as well as season. And yet he still always discovers something new. More    

MYSTERIOUS LEAF DESIGNS IN THE RAINFOREST

Rainforest specialist Karl lets us in on the secret of how these perforated patterns in the leaves come about. More    

GIGANTIC FOREST ELEPHANTS

Forest elephants! Although measuring only two and a half meters makes him the dwarf of all elephants, he still holds the third place of the largest land mammals on earth. More    

HOP ON: A RIDE WITH A DUG OUT

The rainforest. You’ve all probably seen it on tv. But have you ever paddled through the morning mist in a log boat? More    

Faces of Odzala

Education
Education
Animal, species and environmental protection
Animal, species and environmental protection

A GREEN TREASURE

The Congo-Basin in Central Africa harbors around one fourth of the worldwide rainforest stock. With 1.7 million km2 it is the second largest coherent rainforest territory on earth, only the Amazonian rainforest is larger. In the heart of the massive rainforest lies a nature reserve of 13,500 km2: The Odzala-Kokoua national park.

THE GOAL: 20/20

By the year of 2020 a total of 20 million hectares of rainforest are to be declared part of the nature reserve. A vision, but most of all a strategy for survival for our earth. The rainforest in Africa may be far away for Europeans or Americans, but its destruction threatens all people and animals, as the forest plays a fundamental role in the stability of the world climate.

RAINFOREST MEANS BREATHING

Rainforests filter around 200 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare and store it. This way rainforests bundle the harmful greenhouse gases and stabilize the climate. The rainforest of the Congo-Basin is a giant storage for CO2 and herewith of critical importance for the global climate. The Central African rainforest stores around 36 tons of carbon dioxide, rudimentary the yearly worldwide emission, and around 42 times as much as Germany produces in one year (850 million tons of CO2).

CAN’T DO WITHOUT!

Without these massive storages for carbon dioxide we would be faces with a huge problem. The heating of the hearth would be unstoppable, which would carry immense consequences with it. Glaciers would melt faster, the sea level would constantly rise. Entire habitats, including its animals and plants would disappear. It's time to stop the destruction of the rainforest!"

MILLIONS OF YEARS TO GROW, DECADES TO BE ABOLISHED

Some rainforest areas in the world are 100 million years old. In just a few decades the people have alarmingly decimated this vital treasure. Every year around 200000 km2 of forest disappear from the map – through illegal deforestation or fire clearing. What people reach with this is climatic suicide. The 20/20 project is a visionary initiative to stop the destruction of the rainforest. It’s a start!

IN THE FOREST OF SUPERLATIVES

No other place in the world harbors as many different animal and plant species as the unique habitat of the rainforest. Similar to large cities ground area is a scarce good – so construction and growth go upwards.

GROWTH ON DIFFERENT FLOORS

This construction mode consists of high trees, medium sized plants and grasses, and the „epiphytes“ that grow on other smaller plants. They can then absorb more sunlight than the plants growing on the ground.

FOREST-NATIONS

The rainforest is the livelihood for millions of people in central Africa. Humans and nature live together closely, in good times and in bad. Entire cultures, such as the Pygmy people for example lead a “forest life”. Some Pygmy and Bantu tribes live on the border of the national park. The forest is their living environment, jungle pharmacy, shelter and food source. Should the forest disappear, the tribes would follow soon after. Thus any destruction of nature will sooner or later affect the people, too. The approach set up by the Odzala Foundation is therefore holistic: to strengthen the people in order to allow them to become protectors of the rainforest and its animals.

EXPERIENCING THE RAINFOREST

The Odzala project offers the unique opportunity to experience the rainforest of central Africa. Karl Diakite is one of the video reporters giving accounts straight from Odzala. Day after day he is en route with his camera. Fascinating animals, exciting discoveries in the thick jungle, to marvel at, learn, and pass on – here on www.odzala.com - your direct connection to Odzala.